Separation anxiety

SETTLING in  for a rare afternoon at the cinema, I checked my watch. It was about two minutes since the last time I checked.
I wondered, would the baby be awake yet? Was he looking for me? Was he upset?
It was our first time apart and I was admittedly struggling to relax.
Separation anxiety is just as real for parents as it is for the youngsters, but it’s up to the adult to set the tone.
Be confident, reassuring and relaxed… Which is why I left while he slept – pretty certain my acting skills weren’t all that grand.
Nanny tells me he was tremendous and after looking for us momentarily, was seemingly unaffected by the fact we weren’t to be found.
Meanwhile at the cinema, I wasn’t faring quite so well.
I expected to find it difficult, being the sook that I am coupled with the fact I had to leave him in the hospital for a month after his birth.
You’d think a year later I’d be over it, but “mother guilt” is a tough beast to reckon with.
I might have managed better had it not been for our choice of movie which severly hindered my desperate hold on rationality.
The pre-apocalyptic movie sees a single father doing all he can to save the life of his son and Nicholas Cage’s hangdog expression has a habit of tugging on my heartstrings.
In the end, Cage has to hand his son over to aliens if he wants to live. The poor guy cannot go with him.
Talk about cutting the apron strings…
Okay, so my young’un wasn’t boarding an alien mothership. But it dawned on me that this was the first of many solo ventures for our little boy.
One day he would go to school and I would not be there.
He would leave home one day, and I would not be there.
And one day – perish the thought – I would pass on and not be there for him.
Fingers crossed it’s not through a solar flare that burns the earth to a crisp like in the movie.
Though if push came to shove, I’d be packing his bags for an intergalactic adventure too.
Thankfully, I don’t have to make those sorts of decisions.
But it had all made me pretty panicky by the time the closing credits rolled up and I drove home perhaps a little too quickly.
If only we’d been to see Confessions Of A Shopaholic instead.

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